A Virginia Beach, VA, high school student is recovering from injuries he suffered when a driver hit him in a crosswalk near Green Run High School on the morning of November 27, 2017. The pedestrian crash happened at the intersection of Dahlia Drive and S. Independence Boulevard, and police received the call about the collision at 6:30 am.
News reports identify the injured pedestrian only as a male between the ages of 15 and 17. His injuries were disclosed but a police spokesperson said they are not considered life-threatening. Regardless, the teen was fully admitted to the hospital for treatment.
The driver remained at the scene, and police charged the person with failing to yield the right of way while making a left-hand turn onto Dahlia Drive from Independence Boulevard. That charge comes under section 46.2-914 of the Virginia Code, which requires drivers to yield to pedestrians
- At any clearly marked crosswalk,
- At any intersection where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour,
- When the light has changed but people are still in the crosswalk, and
- When turning.
When drivers do not see and give right of way to pedestrians, deaths and injuries are practically inevitable. During 2015, according to records kept by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, 98 pedestrians died in crashes on state roads and highways. Another 1,718 pedestrians suffered injuries, and 98 of those victims were between the ages of 15 and 17.
One eye-opening statistic from the DMV report is that the second-leading cause of wrecks in which Virginia pedestrians got hit was drivers turning left. Mistakes by drivers turning left accounted for 17.3 percent of wrecks in which a pedestrian went to the hospital or died. Right turn errors ranked third as the contributing factor to pedestrian crashes. Obviously, too few people check crosswalks and corners before moving through intersections.
My Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and I hope the Green Run student makes a full and rapid recovery. The teenager’s parents could benefit from consulting with a plaintiff’s attorney who has helped many victims of crashes in crosswalks and also represented families whose children were hurt by negligent drivers. Advice and representation from a legal ally will allow the student and his family to focus on returning to health while someone else deals with the insurance companies.